I got an automated call this past week, from a nearby dealer, that they were going to have Suzuki demos on site for test rides. Since my chores were caught up and it wasn’t raining yet, I headed that way to see what fun lied ahead.
We’ve been getting rain almost every day for the past 45 or so days, so I was really hoping to get there and demo a bike before rain set in. As luck would have it, I got one ride in. Knowing that I might only go out once, I had to really debate which bike to ride.
My gut told me to ride the GSXR1000, because the hooligan in me told me it’d be the most thrilling. Did I mention that they had a full street and dual-sport lineup? I also debated riding one of the V-Stroms. After evaluating the field of choices, I concluded that the most appealing new Suzuki (to me) is the GSX-S1000F.
If you’re not familiar with it, it has the GSXR1000 motor (minus some trick goodies like slipper clutch, etc.) but still turns out about 140 rwhp. It also has traction control and an upright seating position, similar to the Ninja 1000. And it has decent wind protection, to boot.
I quickly remembered why I cancelled my motorcycle magazine subscriptions, stopped frequenting motorcycle dealerships, and try to not swap up with friends during rides. After owning 50+ motorcycles, I’m still passionate (a sucker?) for unique and exciting motorcycles. I could definitely see myself owning one of them. It’s well balanced, torquey, comfy, and FUN!
I’ve thought about the bike non-stop…it was a real hoot. Though I’ve ridden plenty of bikes in this HP range, and higher, it’s been a while. It reminds me of why I chose a path of riding, for roughly 40 of my 47 years of life. The late Marco Simoncelli summarized it well, as quoted “You live more for 5 minutes going fast on a bike than other people do in all of their life.”
There’s a certain risk that comes with the territory (riding), and I certainly don’t promote people riding recklessly or over their skill level. That said, there’s little I’ve found in life that can compare to the excitement I’ve been able to experience on a motorcycle. The GSX-S1000F is a great example of a bike that brings excitement, for me, and does so in a comfy package.
I don't get all carried away going fast in a straight line. What appeals to me about this one is light weight and an engine that doesn't need to be rev'd to high heaven to pull out of corners briskly.
OTOH, I've been absolutely spoiled with the slipper clutch on my V1k and can't imagine life without it anymore. It also has great ergonomics, potent engine, but it's overly tall for me stock (mine's lowered an inch). It also scrapes bits when getting spunky. I don't reckon that's an issue for the Suzi.
I've heard the suspension on the Suzi is both overly firm and easy to discombobulate when ridden quickly on less than perfect pavement. Surely, the aftermarket has options if this is too bad. Also heard the on/off throttle is crap. That's an issue that drives me crazy. Also not a big fan of the fixed windscreen or inability to carry things.
That said, if I lived in the mountains, I'd probably own one. As it is, it takes me a good ride to get to the fun stuff, so I'll forgo a little performance for a lot of practicality.